No matter where you go or who you are with, one thing is for sure…you guys have to eat! Preferences may vary, from steak and seafood to salads and vegetables. Some would settle for fast food, while others would opt for fine dining. But if you really want to indulge yourself, these are the restaurants that you must try at least once in your lifetime. The prices in these restaurants are enough reason to make you savor each and every bite.
1. Masa in New York – $450
Located at the Time Warner Center in New York, Masa is the most expensive restaurant in the fashionable mall in one of the world’s biggest city. The chef himself will welcome you, as he does to every guest who enters the restaurant’s wooden door. The restaurant can accommodate up to 26 guests at a time, and this exclusive clientele will be treated to Masa’s specialties, like its foie gras hotpot and wild watercress tempura. The fish used by the chef are all flown in from Japan. Truffles and other expensive exotic ingredients are also used. Reservation is a must, as there is usually a waiting period of up to three weeks.
2. Aragawa in Tokyo – $368
This is a renowned steak house that offers only six tables, which underlines its exclusivity. There is no written menu in this restaurant. The waiter would simply recite the chef’s selections for the day, and you would be asked to choose two seafood appetizers from five available items. The steak would then be served, and no, you need not choose which part you prefer and how you would like it cooked. Aragawa has already chosen the best part, and though it would depend on the condition of the cow, it is usually a sirloin and cooked medium rare. The meat is scorched on the outside, while the center is a tender red. Only salt and pepper are used to bring out the meat’s natural flavors. Aragawa’s steak will make a vegetarian renounce his beliefs.
3. Solo Per Due in Umbria – $318
Solo Per Due restaurant redefines the meaning of the word exclusivity. How exclusive? Let us just say that you will have the whole restaurant all to yourself and your date. After all, the restaurant’s name does mean just for two. The quaint restaurant in a 19th century building features an entrance spruced up with candlelight. Appetizers are served either in the vine garden or in front of a log fire, depending on the season. The restaurant specializes in local cuisine. You can take your time eating because the waiters will not be bothering you that much; they will wait for you to ring a silver bell before showing up.
4. Ithaa in Maldives – $300
Ithaa is the world’s first underwater restaurant, as it is located 5 meters below sea level. The entrance is grand in itself, as you will go down a spiral staircase. The restaurant only has 14 seats, so be sure to get a reservation. It specializes in seafood and Western cuisine with a local touch. You can enjoy Ithaa’s meal that is 23 courses long while being surrounded by sea creatures on all sides. Be prepared to see sharks, rays and schools of fish swimming around the area looking at you while you are gorging on food.
5. French Laundry in Napa Valley – $270
The chef is the famous Thomas Keller and the signature dish is the oysters and pearls. You need to reserve two months in advance to get a table, and the food and exquisite ingredients will make the wait worthwhile.
6. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee in Paris – $231
If there is a rock star of a chef, then Alain Ducasse is it. Ducasse is a Monaco national, though he was originally from France. He specializes in the detailed and scrupulous presentation of food, which is then downed usually by rare wines. Dinner is served nightly, as well as lunch every Thursday and Friday. This is haute cuisine at its best and at its priciest.
7. The Lecture Room and Library in London – $205
Located at the Sketch restaurant complex, the restaurant boasts of Pierre Gagnaire as its Monsieur Chef. And his presence is apparent up to the smallest of details. Even the seasonings used in the dishes are utilized exactly and meticulously. The food served come in the right combination of taste, texture and temperature.
8. El Amparo in Madrid – $122
An excellent restaurant in the capital of Spain, El Amparo has an extremely good and long Iberian Peninsula wine collection. The cold salmon with tomato sorbet and chocolate soufflé are must-tries. While the food served here are not really creative, they are all presented and executed perfectly. The staff is friendly and accommodating as well, and they will take the time to translate things for you if you are not that conversant in the Spanish language.
9. Alberto Ciarla in Rome – $113
Located in Trastevere, Alberto Ciarla is a seafood restaurant with tasteful food and excellent presentation. The restaurant itself is decorated in 1970’s glamour style. You can choose from three items. The first is the crudo, which is a combination of marinated raw fish and marine mollusks. The second is the cucina tirrenica, a Mediterranean-style prawn salad and pasta with seafood. Lastly, there is the grande cucina, with its lobsters, oysters and other refined delicacies.
10. Sushi Kaji in Toronto – $109
The main chef of this restaurant hails from Japan and has been making sushi since he was 13 years old. He always makes sure not to over handle the ingredients, otherwise, it would ruin the texture and taste of the food item. Sushi Kaji also does not compromise the quality of its sushi to the extent that the restaurant’s supplier has to fly out the fish taken from Tokyo Bay within 24 hours after getting caught. No fish is kept overnight to ensure that everything is fresh everyday. Specialties include the barbecued eel and the fried fluke with spicy tomato sauce.